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Texas Begins Look at Upgrading Online Access To Government
Historian David Gracy came to the state capitol on a mission. He wants lawmakers to improve access to state historical records. He says, "You can't write history without records. You can't understand the present situations in Texas without knowing the historical development and how they got to be the way they are."
Meanwhile Keith Elkins, a freedom of information advocate, is in the same room hoping lawmakers will allow use of cutting-edge technology to monitor the state's business in real time. Elkins says, "We believe that the electronic information -- if you get access to that information -- not only can it be searched and the results that you're looking for be found easier and less costly. But we believe it can result in better public service."
Both are looking for transparency in government, something the new chair of the Texas Senate Open Government Committee says could use a little more light. Rodney Ellis thinks transparency and openness in government is a good thing. His committee has a tough mandate balancing privacy concerns against the demand for faster, more complete access to the inner workings of state government. There's no doubt we have the technology. We just need the legislature to decide how they'll let us use it.
By Fred Cantu